For our Saturday game, Dan Best and I selected Scenario BMW 10.0 Betrayed at Buchenau. This scenario was designed by Brian Williams and I believe is or was available online at one time. At any rate, it was a scenario that had intrigued me and was also one that neither Dan or myself had played before. There was no data in ROAR, so we were not sure of the balance for this scenario. After playing it, I definitely think I would do better playing it a second time. I didn't quite grasp some of its tactical nuances during this playing.
This scenario takes place in Buchenau, Silesia during the snowy January 1945. Certainly not a good time to be on the German side of things as the Soviet Juggernaut plunged into the Reich. This scenario is pretty interesting as it combines half-tracks, wagons, cavalry and tanks. This is not the sort of combination you would expect in a 1945 scenario. The added ground snow gives it some additional character.
For this night's ASL action, I would be the attacking Soviet Forces made up of the 1st Guards Cavalry Corps. At start, I would have 5 x 4-5-8's set up in the open under DM to reflect the survivors of an early Cavalry Column that had been ripped into by half-tracks of the 8th Panzer Division. I would elect to set them up within the setup zone of the German forces. I hoped they would distract Dan's half-tracks, while my other forces entered the board on Turn 1. My remaining forces would consist of 4 x 6-2-8's, 5 x 4-5-8', 5 x 4-4-7's with 2 x MMG's, 2 x ATR's, and 3 x LMG's. All of my troops would enter mounted or on two wagons. Accompanying my boys would be 4 Lend Lease Valentine Tanks.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to field some Valentines. I don't play much if any DTO, so the chance to have Valentines in the OOB is limited. They would perform fairly well and would have done better had I not malf'd the MA on two of them.
http://www.militarytrader.com/military-vehicles-news/river-in-poland-yields-a-valentine (interesting article about Valentine tank discovered in Poland.)
Opposing my Russians would be a mixed group of ad hoc German AT Companies made up of Volksturm and some veteran grenadiers. Dan would have 5 x 5-4-8's, 6 x 4-4-7's, 2 x MMG's, 3 x LMG's, 2 x Panzerschrecks with a 9-1, 8-1, and 8-0 to provide the leadership. Supporting the AT units would be 5 x Sdkfz 250's from the 8th Panzer Division.
A good look at Dan's initial defense and the location of my broken Cavalry squads. The Victory conditions required the Russian Player to control 5 of 6 Buildings (see yellow stars for the 6 locations). I had hoped my broken squads would occupy the attention of Dan's 5 Half-Tracks. And indeed, he placed three of the 5 with their attention focused on the broken squads.
I will admit that I was not sure of the best way to enter the board. Dan's half-tracks could make short work of my cavalry and wagons...so I sent those boys on a path to the safety of the woods. Meanwhile my Valentines with 6-2-8 riders went straight at the Half-tracks.
I reached my 1st turn objectives with no response from the Germans. What were Dan's Germans planning for me....???
Yes...I was afraid...
The white chalk outlines what my Turn 2 objectives would be for my boys.
I conferred with my 9-1 and he was in general agreement with my plans...but he wasn't sure that the woods were the right place to send all the cavalry. He might have been right about that.
Dan's flagship Half-track with his 8-1 Armor Leader would be the first vehicle to malf. In turn 1, we would both malf a Main Armament.
My Malf would occur in my Advancing Fire shots.
Dan's Half-Track would be recalled and I would follow suit with my own recalled armor later in the game.
Malf'ing your MA sure is painful sometimes...
In Turn 2, I managed to knock out some half-tracks and then Dan sent two after me. My ATR successfully killed one, but during the roll I activated the Sniper, who promptly broke my ATR squad.
Pretty nice shooting from the German Sniper and he would hurt me a couple of times during the game.
Sensing an opportunity, Dan sent one of his 4-4-7's to wreck havoc among my broken squads.
It was a pretty courageous move and would in my estimation be one of the outstanding plays of the game. This half-track would be missed by everything thrown at it and would manage to cause me to Malf another Valentine MA, which he would then immobilize. I would waste a valuable turn trying to eliminate this one Germans asset.
In the north, my mounted troops headed into the woods. In the south...the arrows tell the story of my boys trying to destroy a single half-track.
This single half-track would contribute to the elimination of two Valentines and cause me much consternation.
My 6-2-8's finally destroyed the half-track in Close Combat.
It would be one of the few successes enjoyed by my infantry.
One of Dan's snake-eyes rolled during the course of the evening.
Turn 3 saw me on the move again, but I could feel time slipping through my fingers.
Dan's valiant 4-4-7 was the next speed bump to hinder my forward progress.
These boys would be Dan's MVP's for the scenario.
Unbelievably my forces entered the town from the south first. I was still dragging butt in the north.
My 6-2-8's were in the south and their firepower was definitely an asset.
As viewers may have noticed...some of my boards are showing their age. My SL boards are nearing their 40th anniversary. Hard to believe...
Dan's 4-4-7 had won a close combat and KIA'd some broken squads. I had expected them to come after my Valentines with their Panzerfausts...but instead they ran through the open to go after some additional broken Squads. My 8-1 managed to cut them down. They were brave men...but they had to go.
In the south, things were heating up as my Valentines charged into the town.
As my tanks entered the cobbled streets of Buchenau, a 4-4-7 unleashed a Panzerfaust round.
Despite the great shot, the squad would be broken by the back blast.
One blasted Valentine was the result...
I was making some progress. I was winning some Melees and pushing towards my first victory location.
But time had run out. It was clear that I didn't have enough turns left to get more than one or two Victory Locations.
I was determined to take one building location, but Dan's men fought back ferociously and eliminated two of my squads in the first Close Combat.
Despite my losses, I kept sending men into the building. I had to take at least one location...
Sometimes...you just gotta know when enough is enough...
Despite my best efforts, Dan's men would keep me locked in Melee and prevent my capture of even a single victory location.
After 5-1/2 turns, it was late in the evening and clear that my forces were spent. There would be no Russian Victory tonight. So I gave my concession and concluded a great night's worth of ASL.
So, if you haven't downloaded this great scenario...try to locate it and download a copy. It's well worth your ASL Time.
Thanks to Dan for yet another great game! We shall meet again next Saturday!